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Subject: A few guiding principles that may assist anyone new to the game rss

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Brandon Hurd
South Africa
Tokai, Cape Town
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Runewars is an outstanding game - one of my all time favourites.

After a few four-player games, these are my impressions and a few guiding principles that I have come up with, which may assist anyone new to the game. Some of my points are no doubt mentioned elsewhere in these forums but perhaps one or two of my points offer a new insight.

- Board position vs nation: In my opinion, the starting position can be very important - probably on balance, more important than the nation you play. Unless you are the player without a choice, try to obtain a position on the board, which offers positional defensive benefits but also make sure you have a good resource base around your starting position.

- Territorial objectives: In my opinion, one's goal territorially is to try to achieve a position where you can protect a large resource base behind a few easy-to-defend choke points (maybe with strongholds constructed) and then, once you've achieved that, to launch attacks from that strong base. I know this reflects just one (quite conservative) style of play - one of many. Of course the other players will be (or should be) trying to prevent you from doing exactly that...

- Resources: Of the different resource types, food is mission critical. If you can't ensure yourself a supply of at least 5 or 6 (but preferably 7 or 8) food, it will be very difficult indeed to win the game. It's true that you can construct additional improvements each of which could provide one additional resource, but it would take time for them to add up. In addition to the point about food, it's probably desirable to also try to get a balance between extra wood and ore, although if you are very strong in one of those but weak in the other that's not necessarily too bad - you can work around it and you can even make it work to to your advantage but it depends on what nation you are playing.

- Cities: I believe having cities can make a big difference although one can devise a style of play and a strategy that doesn't really require them at all. Basically, they give you more options through the rally support order (which is useless to you if you have no cities.) Having said that, rally support is in most cases, a relatively weak option to take if you only have one city - you typically want to try to control at least two to make it an effective option.

- Influence vs tactics cards: I think you need a balance of both of these. Specifically with regard to influence, if you are never able to win any of the pre-season influence bids, then it will be very difficult indeed to win the game. You should have sufficient influence to compete in these influence bids as they can determine who gets the (possibly game-winning) runes. Specifically with regard to tactics cards, having a large number of tactics cards offers you great flexibility both in attack and defence as their effects are really varied. Having few or none, will not necessarily cost you the game, but it limits your options.

- Heroes: In my opinion, heroes are actually pretty important in that they add to the number of options available to one for acquiring runes. You should not ignore them and it is desirable to get a second or third hero onto the board at some point in the game.

- Neutrals: In my opinion, neutrals aren't all that important although you should try to use diplomacy whenever you can to try to get them on your side instead of having to fight them. Given that in a full fate deck, there's only a 13% chance of diplomacy causing them to ally with you, using diplomacy just to get them to retreat is also a valid option. Equally valid is to try to get a few stacks of neutrals to retreat until there is one big stack and then saving up your influence to try to get that big stack to ally with you.

That's it from me - enjoy the game...
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Pawel Bulacz
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brandon_hurd wrote:
- Cities: I believe having cities can make a big difference although one can devise a style of play and a strategy that doesn't really require them at all. Basically, they give you more options through the rally support order (which is useless to you if you have no cities.) Having said that, rally support is in most cases, a relatively weak option to take if you only have one city - you typically want to try to control at least two to make it an effective option.

I disagree with your statement here, but after I read the rest of your article and especially :
brandon_hurd wrote:
- Heroes: In my opinion, heroes are actually pretty important in that they add to the number of options available to one for acquiring runes. You should not ignore them and it is desirable to get a second or third hero onto the board at some point in the game.

I think you do not know the game that good.
You try to convince us that Rally support is useless and then talking about heroes, that they are important.
How do you want to get heroes without Rally support??? Counting on bid in spring season card?
My opinion Rally support is very important as you can get your next hero.
Next important thing in this game is influence. So if I own a city which gives me 3 influence I will use Rally support each turn.
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Jens Christian Koller
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Sound advice, but I would like to add a couple points.
I find that the most important thing to remember is the goal of the game: to win you need to acquire six runes. That means that the military game is not necessarely how you win. You can win controlling only six hexes. It is a good idea to be aware of the source of these runes:
1. Conquest. You can conquer hexes containing runes from the other player. Often hard to do because runes usually are placed on the hexes far away from the action and also often well protected with units and/or strongholds.
2. Winter influence bids. I find it useful to have a healthy supply of influence when winter comes. The title card "Primarch of the wizard's council" comes in handy as well. The card breaks ties in the holders favor as well as regulary granting an influence token when "wizard's council" season cards are revealed.
3. Heroes. Do not neglect the heroes game. Some of the rewards are shards that can be traded in for runes. In addition the title card "heroes league" allows you to trade in three rewards for a rune.
4. Tactics card. There is one (and I think only one) tactics card that grants you a rune. Not the best source for runes, but you might get lucky.

I think that a strategy centering on influence and heroes has the best chance to win.
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stephen biggs
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Helgrim wrote:

I think that a strategy centering on influence and heroes has the best chance to win.

I find elves win nearly 50% of 3-player games, which demonstrates that strategies effectiveness. I have won as the elves with exactly 6-areas controlled & with only 3 food resources. Hence no significant military forces.
Conversly, for a military strategy to be any benefit to the victory conditions. You have to capture multiple dragon runes from other players. As was pointed out in earlier posts, the dragon runes are usually in well defended rear-areas. So a military win requires a compleatly aggressive deployment of forces. I have seen military wins in only 25% of games.


 
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Jens Christian Koller
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The different ways to acquire runes are discussed in this thread:rune sources
 
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Scott Lewis
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The strategies to win are likely dependent upon the number of players, the map setup, and probably even the player group in question. For instance, in all the 2-player games, the Elves have yet to win even once; in a head-to-head military confrontation, they just don't seem to hold up to the Undead or Uthuk, or even the Humans. Yet in a 4-player game, they do really well, because no player can focus too much attention on just one other player, and with that the Elves can focus on getting influence and building up their military.

Some threads indicate the Uthuk suck; yet in most of the 2-player games I've had, the Uthuk have dominated because of their raw power in battles. They may not have tons of influence, but with the right resources they can get it, and keep a decent Tactics Card engine going.

Heroes are indeed awesome - enough where a player would benefit from trying to get to the Captain of the Heroes' Guild card early to prevent others from using it, even if they themselves have no heroes. But you still have to balance the Heroes with the Military aspects - the heroes can do nothing for you if you are losing all your territory on the battlefield!
 
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Jens Christian Koller
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My experience with this game is from 4-player games only. Because of that I can not comment on the imporance of the military in games with lesser numbers.
Of course all games are different based on map set up, heroes and quest and missions drawn and so forth and therefore requiring different strategies. It seems like however, that in the four-player games I have participated in, it has been enough to maintain a decent army. This may have something to do with my groups playstyle, few of the players are very aggressive. In this environment it has paid off so far to concentrate on gaining influence for the winter bid as well as recruiting heroes and get the quest done as soon as possible. But I must confess that the army often has been instrumental in getting the last rune, usually by a blitz move into a known rune location.
 
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